In Dario Argento's newest movie, the Italian maestro takes on the Transylvanian beast: Dracula. Argento's Dracula is shot in 3D - the director's first foray into the medium, and he does a wonderful job with it. Argento is being honored at this year's Los Angeles Italia film festival and the first night offered a special treat: a screening of Suspiria, followed by 25 minutes of footage from Dracula 3D presented by Dario himself. Dario's remarks were brief, lighthearted - and almost entirely in Italian. Genre luminaries like John Landis and Mick Garris were there to support their friend.
The 25 minutes of footage they showed was the sales reel, so basically it was all the best scenes from the movie. The story of Dracula is not exactly a secret, but if you want to be completely surprised by Argento's take on the story, do not read further. The film will begin the sales rounds in March.
Dario handles 3D magnificently. Not only does he offer crisp (and layered) depth of field, he doesn't forget that some of us like that "popping out at you" effect - especially when it comes to murders. Swarms of bugs, swashbuckling swords, swinging axes, and impalings all jump out at the audience. Daughter Asia plays Lucy in Dario's retelling, and naturally, she is naked. If you thought Asia's tits couldn't get more spectacular, wait until you see them in 3D.
But back to those murders. Dario does not skimp on the red stuff. Be on the lookout for throats being slit open and torn out, beheadings, some light disemboweling, impalings, and a gory take on the traditional vampire dusting. As far as the feel of the picture, it doesn't quite have the creepiness of Dario's other films - it has more of an old Hammer feel.
Some other scenes of interest:
- A woman is chased through the woods by Dracula in the shape of an owl. This is one of those "jump out at you moments" which is so successful, it caused a number of audience members to scream. Either these people had never seen 3D before, or they were there to see the light comedy that was screening immediately after.
- Mina (played by Marta Gastini from The Rite) bathes a very naked Lucy. She discovers Dracula's mark on the back of Lucy's knee, and the scene gets tantalizingly close to girl-on-girl action.
- At various points in the film, Dracula is an owl, a swarm of flies, a wolf (who leads a pack of other wolves away from a vulnerable Mina), and a giant, Kafka-esque praying mantis.
- Van Helsing (played by Rutger Hauer) dealing with inmates at the asylum, and later creating his vampire hunting tools. He also successfully kills a vampire with a pair of branches crossed together.
- In an extraordinarily awesome death, Dracula uses telekinesis to turn one man's gun on himself and shoot himself in the chin. The bullet travels, in 3D slow motion, up through the chin, through his open mouth, and explodes out the top of his head.